Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding Automatic Lines.

Adding Automatic Lines

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 16, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word includes a sometimes-helpful little feature that allows you to add lines in your documents, without removing your fingers from the keyboard. All you need to do is start at the left margin of a new line, type at least three characters, and then press Enter. The result is a line based on the characters you typed. You can use the following characters:

  • Type three dashes and you get a single line.
  • Type thee underlines and you get a bold single line.
  • Type three equal signs and you get a double line.
  • Type three asterisks and you get a heavy dotted line.

You can actually type more than three of each character, if you desire. Word doesn't care that much—the only requirement is that there is at least three of them, and they begin at the left margin. What Word does is to add a border of the specified type to the bottom of the paragraph. If you want to later delete the line, the only way to do so is to remove the paragraph, or choose Borders and Shading from the Format menu.

If you can't automatically add lines on your system, follow these steps:

  1. Choose AutoCorrect (or AutoCorrect Options) from the Tools menu. Word displays the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the AutoFormat As You Type tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The AutoFormat As You Type tab of the AutoCorrect Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Border Lines (or Borders) check box is checked.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (622) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Adding Automatic Lines.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Cannot Double-Click to Open a Workbook

When you double-click on a workbook in Windows, the Excel program should be started and the workbook loaded. When this ...

Discover More

Disabled Page Setup Tools

It can be frustrating if you expect to use some of Excel's tools normally available on the ribbon, but those tools are ...

Discover More

Ignoring Empty Cells in a Chart

If the data you are using as the source for a chart includes some cells that are empty, you may want to exclude those ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Understanding Paragraph Alignment

One of the most basic ways to align paragraphs is to set the alignment used for the text in the paragraph. Word provides ...

Discover More

Graphics and Line Height

If the inline graphics in your document appear "chopped off," it could be directly related to the formatting within the ...

Discover More

Understanding Leading

Those with a publishing, typographic, or design background may understand what leading is, but not how to adjust the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.